In exchange for the use of the NSA's XKeyscore software, Germany's intelligence agency gives information on its targets to the U.S. agency.
In exchange for the use of the NSA's XKeyscore software, Germany's intelligence agency gives information on its targets to the U.S. agency.

Germany's domestic intelligence agency agreed to turn over information on its citizens to the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) in exchange for the use of the American group's XKeyscore software.

The program allows the German agency to “rapidly analyze” metadata that it had already collected, according to German newspaper Die Zeit. The paper said it saw documents demonstrating this agreement between the two countries. The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) said in the 2013 document that it would share information with the U.S. that is relevant to the NSA's mission.

Ars Technica noted that BfV doesn't use bulk surveillance on its citizens, as German law prohibits it. Instead, the agency can monitor specific targets with the approval of parliament.

Die Zeit reported, however, that no one knows the exact metadata the agency collects and send back to the U.S.